So what did Romney really say?
Responding to a question about spending and borrowing, Romney in June 2011 discussed shifting more responsibility for disaster response to the states.
“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction,” he said. “And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.”
That’s an entirely conventional view that certain government functions are best vested in the states, and that the private sector can often perform certain tasks more efficiently than bureaucrats. (Example: Walmart trucks did a far better job of delivering post-Katrina hurricane relief than any government agency.)
Nevertheless, liberal mind-readers have proclaimed his response a declaration of war on FEMA and those it serves, noting that both Romney and running mate Paul Ryan have proposed general spending cuts that may include disaster assistance.
They have been less eager to point out that President Obama has proposed a very specific 3 percent cut — a half trillion dollars — in FEMA spending for 2013.
That just wouldn’t fit the contrived narrative, now, would it.